Israeli gov't approves Shin Bet tracking of COVID-19 patients

Source: Xinhua| 2020-06-24 23:07:03|Editor: huaxia

JERUSALEM, June 24 (Xinhua) -- The Israeli government unanimously approved on Wednesday a bill to reallow the Shin Bet internal security service to track and detect coronavirus patients amid the recent increase in morbidity.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said after the special government meeting that "we will use this tool responsibly and safely to curb the spread of the pandemic."

The purpose of the proposed law, which requires the parliament's approval, is to enable digital monitoring of coronavirus patients and the transfer of information to the Ministry of Health.

The implementation of the law will be subject to approval by Netanyahu and Defense Minister Benny Gantz.

In this controversial program, which began back in mid-March, the Shin Bet has worked with the health ministry to track the movements of COVID-19 patients using data from their mobile phones, credit card transactions, and other digital sources.

In late April, however, Israel's Supreme Court ordered to freeze the tracking by the Shin Bet, stating that such a move requires legislation.

The court ruling came after two rights groups, the Association of Civil Rights in Israel and Adalah, the center for Arab minority rights, and the Union of Journalists in Israel, petitioned against the tracking. Enditem